Title:
Elastic structure for slat-type bed rests
Kind Code:
B1
Abstract:
Abstract of EP0920824
An elastic structure (10) for bed rests made of slats (20), elastic slates or ribs placed across a bed frame and connected to it by slat holding joints (30, 31). In order to enhance the bed rest's adaptability to the loads of a stretched-cut body, the bed frame's longitudinal girders (40) are equipped with structures made of an elastic material (10) composed of two curved elements (50, 60) opposed to each other; an upper element (50) is shaped so as to allow substantial flexing with respect to the frame girder (40), while a lower element (60) functions as a stabilizer and rigidity adjuster.


Inventors:
Caon, Manuele (Via S. Eurosia 7, Manzano - Udine, 33044, IT)
Gandolfi, Stefano (Piazza F. Viviani 14, Verona, 37121, IT)
Application Number:
EP19980204076
Publication Date:
09/25/2002
Filing Date:
12/02/1998
Assignee:
Esperides S.R.L. (SS.352 Udine-Grado Km 3.400, Lauzacco di Pavia di Udine, 33050, IT)
International Classes:
A47C23/06; (IPC1-7): A47C23/06
European Classes:
A47C23/06H; A47C23/06D1
View Patent Images:
Domestic Patent References:
Foreign References:
DE29611876U
FR2689742A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
De Gregori, Antonella (Ing. Barzano & Zanardo Milano S.p.A. Via Borgonuovo 10, Milano, 20121, IT)
Claims:
1. A bed rest, consisting of elastic slats (20), slates or ribs, placed across a frame and connected to said frame by slat-holding joints (30, 31) of flexible or pivoting type, comprising an elastic structure (10) of the type including elastic elements (50, 60) of a curved geometrical shape, whose configuration can be manually adjusted, said elements (50, 60) being positioned between said frame of the bed rest and said slat-holding joint (30, 31) and seat beneath said slats (20) in such a manner as to allow a substantial vertical excursion of said slats (20) with respect to said frame of the bed rest, and simultaneously a relative stability and stiffness of the structure (10), characterised in that said elastic structure (10) comprises a first arch (50) extending between one longitudinal girder (40) of said frame of the bed rest and said slat-holding joint (30, 31) and a second arch (60) branching of from said first arch (50), said arches (50, 60) being connected to each other by at least one manually operated connecting device (45, 90) suitable for regulating elasticity of said structure (10) on the basis of the weight that lies in bed.

2. A bed rest according to claim 1, characterised in that said connecting device (90) is positioned between said arches (50, 60) and in a portion of said elastic structure (10) where a maximum distance between the arches (50, 60) is provided.

3. A bed rest according to claim 1, characterised in that said elastic structure (10) is made of a plastic material, harmonised metal or multi-layered wood, said structure (10) being fastened to said longitudinal girder (40) of said frame of the bed rest.

4. A bed rest according to claim 2, characterised in that said connecting device (90) is constituted by a pin inserted inside a passing or threaded hole (91) carved out in said elastic structure (10) and by at least one blocking device (95) of said pin (90) on the elastic structure (10).

5. A bed rest according to claim 1, characterised in that said arches (50, 60) are constituted by a single shaped structure.

6. A bed rest according to claim 1, characterised in that said connecting device (45) is constituted by a plurality of grooves, provided in said first arch (50), in which an extremity of said second arch (60) is inserted.

7. A bed rest according to claim 3, characterised in that the distance (X) between the upper face of said girder (40) and said slat (20) amounts to at least 50 millimetres, while the minimum distance (Z) between said structure (10) and the lower face of said slat (20) amounts to at least 30 millimetres.

8. A bed rest according to claim 3, characterised in that said first arch (50) intersects said second arch (60) in at least one point of intersection (69), the distance between said point of intersection (69) and a vertical passing axis (A) through the centre of gravity of said girder (40) amounting to at least 10 centimetres and the distance (K) between said axis (A) and said slat-holding joint (30, 31) amounting to at least 15 centimetres.

Description:

This invention refers to an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests.

In order to prevent particular affections of the spinal column, it is fundamentally important to have bed rests capable of allowing it to maintain the same configuration in an upright or stretched-out position.

At this time, slat-type bed rests are available which are laid out across a frame and tied up to it by rabbets or elastic joints.

The slats may be of a rigid or elastic type, weakly curved upward so as to allow a favorable sagging action.

They may be made even more compliant and comfortable if anchored to the frame by appropriate elastic dampers or fluid dynamic jacks, connected to a hydraulic circuit and arranged usually in a region of the bed rest corresponding to the back or shoulders.

In the traditional beds based on elastic slats it is also possible to adjust the elasticity of the individual slats by applying the leaf spring suspension principle.

However, in all these cases, the adjustments involved in the pliability and comfort for the user merely influence the slat's inherent elasticity. The slat will therefore offer a better support if it is particularly rigid and consequently poorly pliable and comfortable for the user.

The traditional structures for slat-type bed rests in fact offer a poor reactivity to the stresses of a stretched-out body, as they are in the first place affected by the body's weight, and their functionality depends on the body's most common resting position; their construction can therefore be personalized but has a poor self-adapting ability.

For example, DE 296 11 876 U discloses the features of the preamble of claim 1.

The purpose of this invention is to eliminate the mentioned drawbacks, i.e. to produce an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, capable of improving, with respect to the known technology, the adapting capacity of a bed rest to the stresses of a stretched-out body.

Another purpose of this invention is to produce an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, capable of optimizing their reactivity, adjustability and adaptability and of combining them with the requisites of a bed-rest based on elastic slats.

A further purpose of this invention is to indicate an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, capable of perfectly adapting the bed rest to the configuration of the spinal column.

An additional purpose of this invention is to indicate an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, in which the slats' sensitivity to the body's stresses is substantially enhanced, while leaving the slats' inherent elasticity unchanged, and therefore achieving a permanently high standard of comfort for the user under any circumstances.

Another purpose of this invention is to indicate an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests suitable for preserving, in a static reclining position, the S-shaped configuration typical of the spinal column's static upright position, regardless cf the body's weight and the resting positions assumed by the user.

Not the last purpose of this invention is to produce an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, capable of being produced in an easy and economical manner, without resorting to complex technologies and particularly expensive components, thanks to the advantages obtained.

Within the present invention, these and other purposes are achieved by producing an elastic structure for a slat-type bed rest according to the claim 1, being referred to for brevity.

The elastic structure which is the object of this invention advantageously offers to enhance the bed rest's capability of adapting to the stresses of a stretched-out body by a solution allowing it to optimize its reactivity, adjustability and adaptability while combining them with the traditional advantages of a slat-type bed rest.

It should at this point once and for all be mentioned that it is generally possible to use elastic slats, slates or ribs.

The longitudinal girders of the bed frame are provided with structures made of elastic material, composed of two opposed arches connected to each other in at least one point.

By rotating a pin connecting the two arches, a first arch can be set in tension while making the other rigid, so as to vary the first arch's elasticity at will, depending on the weight of the person and of the body's anatomical portion the bed rest's section has to be sustained.

This allows the best rest to perfectly adapt itself to the configuration of the spinal column, both as a result of the ample vertical oscillating capability of the slats connected to the elastic structure, as well as of the possibility to adjust the sensibilty to the weight of the body and therefore the elasticity of the individual slats.

This achieves a permanently high standard of comfort for the user under any condition of weight, structure and position.

The bed rest referred to in this invention is preferably produced by using flexible multiple-layered slats made of curved and steam-pressed beech wood, capable of perfectly adhering, due to their permanent elasticity in time, section-by-section to the curvature of the spinal column, while sagging only where needed and allowing the latter to maintain an orthopedically correct configuration in every position assumed by the sleeping body; alternatively, the slats are built in solid wood or other appropriate elastic material, not excluding reinforced plastic materials, for example fiberglass; in any case, the greater the number of slats, the more effective their action.

In a preferred embodiment, the slats are connected, by pivoting joints made of shockproof and undeformable material, to a robust all-wooden frame, so as to prevent the diffusion of electromagnetic impulses throughout the structure and guaranteeing a comfortable rest.

Moreover, the robust insulating frame totally eliminates squeaking, it cannot produce rust and safeguards the integrity of the mattress.

Further characteristics and advantages of an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, according to this invention, will become better evident from the description given below for exemplifying and non-limiting purposes, referred to the enclosed drawings in which:

  • Figure 1 is a simplified, partial and partly sectionalized view of a first embodiment of an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, mounted on the frame of a bed rest according to this invention;
  • Figure 2 is a simplified, partial and partly sectionalized view of a second embodiment of an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, mounted on the frame of a bed rest according to this invention;
  • Figure 3 is a simplified, partial and partly sectionalized view of a third embodiment of an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, mounted on the frame of a bed rest according to this invention;
  • Figure 4 is a simplified, partial and partly sectionalized view of a fourth embodiment of an elastic structure for slat-type bed rests, mounted on the frame of a bed rest according to this invention.

It should above all be kept in mind that the drawings of the various embodiments of the elastic structure according to the invention represent merely one of the structures involved, connected to one of the two extremities of a slat.

It is likewise possible to provide two identical elastic structures connected to both extremities of a slat; such structures may further be symmetrical with respect to an imaginary vertical axis passing through the slat's center of gravity; in other embodiments of the present invention, each elastic structure is connected to only one extremity of each slat, alternatively to the right or left-hand side of the mentioned vertical axis, along the entire frame of the bed rest.

With reference to the mentioned figures, 10 generally indicates an elastic structure for a slat-type bed rest according to this invention, 20 indicates a curved slat, slate or rib inserted in a frame produced to support a mattress and to hold an elastic structure, composed of longitudinal girders 40 set in place by fastening screws 70 and sealing dowels 80, capable of being inserted in seats obtained by milling the longitudinal girders 40.

Attention is drawn to the fact that this description will hereinafter use the term "slats" to mean that it may also indifferently refer to other embodiments involving crossbeams, slates or ribs laid out on a bed rest.

The slats 20 are preferably made of steam-heated and pressed beech wood.

In particular, this invention provides for the use of a frame profiled in such a manner that the extremities of the slats 20, inserted in appropriate and as such known slat holding elements 30, 31, outline the perimeter of the bed rest; and that the mentioned frame moreover exhibits a width inferior to the longitudinal size of the slats 20 and is set in a position underlying the same.

With particular reference to Figure 1, 30 indicates a swiveling type slat holding joint, preferably made of a rubbery material and comprising two first seats 33, 34, into which the extremities of the slats 20 and a portion of the elastic structure 10, respectively, insert themselves according to the present invention. The slat holding joint 30 is fitted with an intermediate passing hollow, indicated by 35, whose function is to allow the mentioned joint 30 to flex in a vertical sense.

In the embodiments illustrated in Figures 2-4, the slat holding element 31, also preferably made of a rubbery material, comprises of an insert 36, in which an appendix of the elastic structure 10 and a C-shaped sleeve 37 acting as a hinge for one of the extremities of the slat 20 can be inserted. A spherical element 33 capable of rotating upon itself is inserted between the sleeve 37 and the insert 36, so that it guarantees a flexing motion of the slat 20.

The structure 10 for a slat-type bed rest 2C, which is the object of this invention, is made of elastic material, preferably of a plastic material, harmonized metal or multiple-layered wood and built in a single piece in a curved form, comprising two elements or curved branches 50, 60 opposed to each other.

An upper curved element 50 is profiled so as to allow a flexing of the same with respect to the girder 40 of the bed rest's frame, amounting to at least 50 mm. A lower curved element 60 acts as a stabilizing element and rigidity adjuster; the turning of the nut 95 of a bolt 90 connecting the two curved elements 50, 60 to each other while passing through a hole 91 carved out of the upper element 50 and a threaded hole carved out of the lower element 60 makes it in fact possible to stretch the lower element 60, thus stiffening the upper element 50.

In a preferred but non-limiting embodiment of this invention, the distance marked X between the upper face of the girder 40 and the median longitudinal axis of the slat 20 inserted into the seat 33 amounts to 80 mm, while the distance Y between a vertical axis A passing through the center of gravity of the girder 40 and a point of the structure 10 indicated by 69 and substantially set by an area of contact between the two branches 50, 60 or between an upper branch 50 and the imaginary extension of the lower branch 60 set on the side of the slat holding joint 30, 31 substantially amounts to at least 10 centimeters.

In the same manner, the minimum distance Z between the lower face of the slat 20 and the structure 10 by the girder 40 preferably amounts to 50 mm, while the distance K between the axis A and the extremity of the sleeve 37, in which the slat 20 is inserted, preferably amounts to 15 cm.

In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 2, the branch or curved upper element 50 of the elastic structure 10 is fitted with grooves 45, each of which may optionally hold an extremity of the lower branch 60, by using a U-shaped insert set opposite the area indicated by 69.

The positioning of the extremity 69 of the curved branch 60 into the grooves 45 closest to the longitudinal girder 40 allows stiffening the structure 10; on the contrary, the positioning of the mentioned extremity closer to the slat-holding joint 31 achieves a more flexible structure 10.

In the embodiment of Figure 3, the curved elements 50, 60 do not touch each other opposite the area 69, and the turning of the pin 90 makes it possible to act on the branch 60, which functions as a support to stiffen the element 50.

Finally, the figure 4 represents an embodiment of the structure 10 similar to that illustrated in Figure 1, where however the two curved elements 50, 60 are connected to each other in a reverse manner with respect to that shown in Figure 1.

The elastic structure 10 for a slat-type bed rest 20 according to this invention is suitable for combining the advantages of a bed rest fitted with elastic slats 20 with an optimum reactivity, adjustability and adaptability, while enhancing the bed rest's capability to adapt itself to the stresses of a stretched-out body and allowing it to achieve an absolute adaptability to the configuration of the spinal column, which thereby maintains its most natural setting even in a stretched-out position, independently of the body's weight or sleeping position. The use of the elastic structure 10 makes it in fact possible to regulate the elasticity of the curved upper element 50 at will, depending on the weight of the person and of the body's anatomical part the bed rest is destined to support.

This allows the bed rest to perfectly adapt to the configuration of the spinal column, both thanks to the ample vertical oscillating capability of the slats 20 connected to the elastic structure 10, and to the possibility of regulating the sensitivity and consequently the elasticity of each individual slat 20 to the body's weight. In practice, action is taken on the sensitivity of the slat 20 toward the body's weight while leaving the slats' 20 inherent elasticity unchanged, due to the fact that the action is taken on their capacity to extend in a vertical sense, thus producing the result of attaining, always and under any circumstances, a high standard of comfort for the user.

Moreover, the wide vertical excursion of the slats 20 allows the spinal column in a static reclining position to maintain the same S-shaped configuration which characterizes its static upright position, regardless of the body's weight or resting position.

Finally, it is important to note that the implementation of the elastic structure 10 with two opposed curved elements 50, 60 can be achieved with substantially similar mechanical results by indifferently utilizing the various exemplifying configurations of this invention, represented by the enclosed Figures 1 - 4, respectively.

The mentioned description clarifies the characteristics as well as the resulting advantages of the elastic structure for slat-type bed rests object of this invention.

In particular, these are represented by:

  • an "active" type lateral support of the spinal column;
  • an adequate "comfort" for the user;
  • a substantial lightness of the entire structure;
  • a reactivity, adjustability and adaptability of the elastic structure;
  • a limited cost in relation to the advantages obtained.

It is finally obvious that numerous other variants may be applied to the elastic structure of the slat-type bed rest object of this invention, without thereby abandoning the principles of novelty inherent in the inventive idea, just as it is evident that in the practical implementation of the invention the materials, shapes and dimensions of the details illustrated may be of any kind depending on the requirements, and that the same may be substituted with others technically equivalent.